What are methylcobalamin Supplements
What are methylcobalamin Supplements:Methylcobalamin is a coenzyme form of vitamin B12, which occurs naturally. Vitamin B12 is the most complex vitamin among all the vitamins. To regulate some important functions in our body such as cell multiplication, blood formation, protein synthesis etc. it is a vital nutrient. It has taken as a dietary supplement and to treat certain anemias. For increasing the level of red blood cell in our body also methylcobalamin is important.
Previously, methylcobalamin supplements and fortified foods were using cyanocobalamin or hydroxocobalamin. But afterward, it was found that the human body can’t utilize these substances in metabolism directly. Thus, in a later period, it has transformed into an active form, like methylcobalamin. That’s the reason now why some vitamin B12 supplements utilize methylcobalamin.
It is also a chemical compound produced by the microorganisms present in the gut. That’s why if a person has the gut disease, he/she can’t absorb methylcobalamin effectively from healthy food or supplements. Older people or who are taking some forms of medications, they may be at risk of vitamin B12 methylcobalamin deficiency. If a person follows a balanced diet, getting enough methylcobalamin, then also it doesn’t mean that the body can utilize it fully. Some medical conditions obstruct the absorption of methylcobalamin and cause its deficiency.
The Different Types of Vitamin B12
There are different types of vitamin B12. Some are existing naturally, and others are made in laboratories. The most common forms are cyanocobalamin, methylcobalamin, and hydroxocobalamin.
We can get low doses cyanocobalamin in medicine shops but for high doses, we need a prescription, which is available in liquid or spray form. We don’t need a prescription for methylcobalamin, but it is hard to find and very expensive than other forms.
Hydroxocobalamin made by the healthy bacteria present inside the gut. It is available in the form of injection. It is also used to treat cyanide poisoning.
Significance of Methylcobalamin
We know it very well that vitamin is an essential nutrient for our body, but our body can’t make it on its own. So, it is very necessary to get vitamins from our food and supplements. If you are not getting enough vitamin or fail to absorb it because of any disease, then you may become vitamin deficient.
Methylcobalamin is one type of water-soluble vitamin. So, the body can’t store it for a long time but can absorb easily. Whereas Fat-soluble vitamin, the body can store it for future use. So, we should take methylcobalamin regularly. We can’t let our body to be vitamin deficient.
Methylcobalamin benefits in our Body:
For the functioning of the brain, nerves as well as red blood cells formation, vitamin B12 is very much essential. It also helps in energy production and regulation among other metabolic actions in our body. There are a lot of roles of methylcobalamin in our body. The main roles are:
- Methylcobalamin helps in the treatment of some diseases such as Alzheimer’s and rheumatoid arthritis. It protects neurons and regenerates the nerves those are damaged. Scientists are studying to prove whether vitamin B12 methylcobalamin deficiency increases the risk of dementia, which is a disease that damages older people neurons.
- During the synthesis of DNA, methylcobalamin works together with folate. methylcobalamin Deficiency in either of the two decreases the production rate of red blood cells. These two nutrients are essential to protect yourself from cardiovascular disease. In preserving DNA integrity also, they play a vital role.
- Methylcobalamin is helpful to inhibit the depression level. Its deficiency can cause breast cancer. Some scientists found that methylcobalamin in combination with other substances could ease back pain, neck pain, and trigeminal neuralgia.
Symptoms of Methylcobalamin Deficiency
If your body is not getting enough vitamin B12, or if it fails to absorb it properly, you may start having symptoms of methylcobalamin deficiency. The main symptoms are classified in neurological and gastrointestinal.
The neurological symptoms of methylcobalamin deficiency include
- difficulty walking,
- tingling of the feet and hands,
- problem concentrating, and
- memory loss.
Neurological damage cannot be reversed by vitamin B12. All these symptoms progress gradually. So, we should be cautious about vitamin B12 deficiency to protect our nervous system.
Some of the gastrointestinal symptoms of methylcobalamin deficiency are
- loss of appetite,
- diarrhea or constipation, and
- tongue soreness.
- Chronic stomach inflammation
Finally, if the body doesn’t absorb vitamin B12 properly from the diet you can get megaloblastic anemia.
The reasons for Methylcobalamin Deficiency
According to the National Institutes of Health, only 15% of the population are suffered from methylcobalamin deficiency. Because our body needs a very little amount of it. So, most healthy people who maintain a balanced diet get plenty of vitamin B12.
Older people usually can’t absorb vitamin B12 properly from food. Even if they got enough vitamin B12, their body can’t extract the form of vitamin B12. So, they face vitamin B12 methylcobalamin deficiency. And that deficiency is called as B12 Malabsorption.
If your stomach, small intestine or pancreas doesn’t function properly, then you can suffer from intestinal malabsorption. Regular usage of antacid also leads to methylcobalamin deficiency. Because the body utilizes the acid secret from the stomach to separate methylcobalamin from food, but antacid obstructs it.
Many other medical conditions can lead to vitamin B12 methylcobalamin deficiency. Two chronic inflammatory diseases of the stomach are among the main causes of vitamin B12 deficiency: one is pernicious anemia and another one is food-bound vitamin B12 malabsorption.
When your own antibodies attack your stomach cells, it is called as Pernicious anemia.
And individuals who are suffered from vitamin B12 malabsorption can’t absorb B12 properly from food and normally have atrophic gastritis. Because of their incapability to absorb B12 from food, they need it in the crystalline form that provided by fortified foods or dietary supplements. Normally, the old people, over 60 years of age suffer from this. Because the stomach doesn’t function well, bacteria can overgrow in the small intestine and try to block the proper absorption of vitamin B12 from food or supplements whatever they have.
Since other medical conditions can cause or contribute to methylcobalamin deficiency. These include
- celiac disease,
- Crohn’s disease,
- pancreatic insufficiency,
- chronic alcoholism,
- AIDS, and
- Imerslund-Grasbeck syndrome (a rare inherited disease).
Vegan or Vegetarian Diet
Researchers demonstrated that the individuals who are pure vegan or follow some restrictions on non-veg items, they may have methylcobalamin deficiency. Because only animal-derived foods contain vitamin B12. Nowadays there are some fermented vegetables, edible algae, and mushrooms available in the market which contain vitamin B12. But the amount of it is not enough to meet the daily requirements.
Therefore, if you have a strict vegan diet, then you should have B12 fortified foods as well as supplements to reduce the methylcobalamin deficiency risk.
Vitamin B12 Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)
For each vitamin, the Food and Nutrition Board establishes the recommended dietary allowance (RDA). RDA is the measure of vitamin B12 that most of the people should consume to meet their daily requirements.
For healthy teenagers (14-18 years) and adults (18-50 years), the RDA for vitamin B12 is 2.4 micrograms per day.
Infants and children should take 0.9-1.8 micrograms per day, depending on their age. Consult with your doctor to ensure your child gets the right amount of vitamin B12 or not.
Pregnant women require 2.6 micrograms of vitamin B12 daily.
As we know older people need more amount of vitamin B12 because they have a high risk of food-bound malabsorption. That’s the reason why they should take vitamin B12 supplements or B12 fortified foods.
What happens if you exceed the RDA of vitamin B12?
Having more than the RDA of vitamin B12 doesn’t harm. Because when you consume a high dose of vitamin B12, your body absorbs only a part of it. But in case you are pregnant or have other medical issues, then please consult with a doctor first to get the exact information.
Sources of Methylcobalamin, or Vitamin B12
Sources of methylcobalamin include food and supplements.
Foods rich in Vitamin B12
Normally, vegetables don’t have methylcobalamin. To meet the daily requirements of it, you must eat animal source foods or take supplements.
As per the FDA, some of the foods that contain methylcobalamin are:
- fortified cereals,
- poultry, and
- seafood (such as clams, trout, salmon, haddock, and tuna).
Some supplements of B12 contain cyanocobalamin, that is a form of vitamin B12. But the body can’t use it directly. But there are some B12 supplements contain methylcobalamin, that is also a form of vitamin B12, your body needs.
If you are maintaining a healthy diet and taking methylcobalamin supplements, you can get more vitamin B12 than the RDA. But according to study intaking, high level of vitamin B12 is safe. There was a survey in 2011 about methylcobalamin amount. In that study, it was found that no toxic effects (hypervitaminosis) even when people ingested as much as 10 mg of vitamin B12 a day, that’s about 4,000 times more than the preferred RDA.
Methylcobalamin is a coenzyme form of vitamin B12, which occurs naturally. Our body requires several vital nutrients to function properly. Among all those nutrients methylcobalamin is an essential nutrient. There are different forms of vitamin B12, called cobalamins. Cyanocobalamin is one form of vitamin B12, but directly we can’t utilize it. It must transform into activated forms like methylcobalamin, which is the most effective form of vitamin B12 and utilized by the cells.
According to the FDA, for conversion of food to energy, smooth functioning of the nervous system and red blood cell generation, vitamin B12 plays a vital role. In old people, deficiency of vitamin B12 may lead to stroke and neurodegenerative disorders (such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis and dementia).
Therefore, to keep your digestive and nervous systems and your entire body functioning well you need to take enough vitamin B12.
The individuals with certain digestive problems, old people, and those are strict vegan or maintain a strict vegetarian diet have a maximum risk to have vitamin B12 methylcobalamin deficiency. So, to meet those daily requirements, you must take certain animal produced foods or some related supplements. Some medicines like antacids, medicines for high cholesterol and for gout reduce the absorption of methylcobalamin or vitamin B12.